Skip to main content

The Traffic Police Matatu Uniform Act

A lot has changed along Tom Mboya street in downtown Nairobi. It's not the hawkers who occupy the pavement and who will pick up a quarrel with you if you stand in front of their wares showing no intent to purchase them. It does not occur to them that you have the right to be on the pavement Its even worse when you step their wares when trying to avoid one of those Nairobi Jay Walkers. One thing about hawkers though, don't purchase any clothing item at night. You will end up with a pink sweater, like the one am wearing as I type this, while what you had intended was a beautiful cream one. Credit this to the yellow street lights , which if you forgot your science classes , produce other colors when mixed with actual colors.

The changes along Tom Mboya street also have nothing to do with it been a street where any Tom, Dick and Harry can try out their U turn and 3 point motoring skills. It's hard to cross this street as it is quite impossible to predict the general flow of traffic along the street.Motorists may be speeding along the wrong side of the road, driving along the middle bank that divides the lanes or doing illegal U turns and 3 point turns anywhere along the street.
Matatus
However, the changes have something to do with colours and matatus. A matatu, or those who aren't Kenyans or Ugandans are several seater vehicles that ply to and fro between two points picking and dropping passengers along the way. (P.S. I dont sit on the Oxford Dictionary committee). The change is in the colour of the matatus.

According to the police, it is a change they believe in. Before, depending on the competition , the number of youthful population of the destination and the amount of dispensable income for the destination served, some routes had matatus that were quite colourful consisting several colours , graffiti and vehicle body modification. Routes 58 (BuruBuru), 9 (Eastleigh), 111 (Ngong) and 23 (Outering) were known or their colourful matatus , graced with high power music systems, several video screens and they were all the rage with the youth. Youth boarded matatus just for the entertainment taking a round trip(or even several), and some even waited hours on end for specific matatus. There was(is) even a Facebook group and the followers even knew which matatus were off the road or repairs.

But that was until the Nairobi Traffic Department of the Kenya Police decided to bring their school system thinking into the system. The police decided that the bribes they take, their ill equipped traffic policemen who run after rule flouters with rubber batons, lack of a clear policy on traffic lights, fact that some matatus are owned & protected by police is not to blame for the unruliness on the road, especially from matatus.

Our very bright police officers have blamed it on the several colours painted on the matatus, and their music systems. A directive was then passed and enorced that all matatus have one colour and stop playing loud music.

As it defeats me how the police decided passengers cant choose matatus that fit their music tastes (from none to loud), the re-coloured single coloured matatus are now worse than ever. This single-colored, silent matatus now accomplish stunts that their multi-coloured , music playing counterparts were not known for.

A single coloured, silent matatu can now climb trees, drive in trenches, make multiple U and 3 point turns along any Nairobi street and drive on any side of the road as long as traffic is lesser on that side. If the sincle coloured, silent matatu encounters a rubber-batoned armed police officer, tie in the muddy seat belt as the matatu ramps up the pavement and even up stairs.

matatu's as they should look in the Traffic Police Uniform Act

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 2) - The "University Girls"

This post continues from Part 1. 

The residents of Addis are friendly too. On my first day, I did meet a guard at a hotel, who later offered to show me around. Among the places he suggested, was this place where some “University girls” were holding some "dancing ceremony". He added, that Ethiopians being Orthodox Christians, were about to go on a sex, alcohol and meat fast, hence the importance of this “ceremony.”
I had some suspicion that I was being sold to sex, but my guide insisted that this was not a sex sale. Just dancing University girls. We did end up in some nondescript compound, and into a house. There was sort of a sitting area, with a radio system, low benches and tables, and grass sprinkled around the floor. Grass sprinkled around the floor is an Ethiopian tradition that indicates you are welcome to a place.

It was about 5 PM,  and the hosts seemed not to be expecting any visitors at this time. My guide disappeared down some corridor into the back to call them. In…

A Tale of 2 Bakeries

Let me start by apologising - what a cliché, again, I apologise - for not joining in the "holiday mood" - what a cliché - and posting a feel good post on Christmas, or even after taking much liberty to include this as as my tarting paragraph, falling short by not taking this opportune moment to bid you something to do with the various holidays and festivities.

The holidays are a great time for promotions. Spending is greater than the rest of the year with few people saving for the occasion and a many others opting to spend their January salary in the last few days of December. As a few have learnt, the last few days of December can be game changers for an entire year.

Businesses are also out to cash in on the "festive mood" - seems I won't be running out of clichés - by offering various discounts and offers to woo customers  from their competitors. However, when a bakery at "AA" near Mukuru kwa Njenga started offering a free cup of juice to those mad…

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl, You are like a breath of fresh air, like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull Either your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth Don't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breathExciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying; so many definitions in english, but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above When I say you are fly, it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you.Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one girl.Your friends are…